Some time ago, I wrote about how I believe that the Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs) are here. Others feel the same way. And the Online Schools Organization has been gathering information on what’s available. This is a great resource! Now your job (and mine) of finding more information for continuous learning just got a bit easier. A question still remains, of course, as to how will the MOOCs will make money? How will they sustain themselves? The Online Schools Organization created a great graphic depicting how they believe the MOOCs will fund themselves. Take a look at the graphic here.
In his book Who Owns The Future?, Jaron Lanier takes a different view on what’s happening with online education along with all the other “Siren Server” projects we have going. He points out that eventually MOOCs will be putting most teachers out of business. Electronic classrooms and “Massively Open” courses mean that the students of the future may well not see a campus more than a couple of times during their college career. Or even if on campus, the power of the online lecture is strong indeed. Why struggle to get to the course in a physical building, remotely located, on time, when you can, in your proverbial “bunny slippers,” power up the computer or tablet and take in the lecture in comfort.
I find Lanier’s warning about how we are well down a slippery slope when it comes to technology, internet, big data and privacy very compelling. Still, I am happy to take advantage of what’s being offered when it comes to education. Maybe we can get MOOCs to replace the mindless TV that the cable companies keep foisting on us. What’s your plan? Will you use MOOCs for yourself or leadership team?
NOTE 11/1/2015: Here’s an Update on the status of MOOCs.